The now formerly venture-backed studio behind Dauntless, Phoenix Labs, has been acquired by Singapore-based games company Garena. Since Garena typically specializes in mobile titles, such as its very own Free Fire, this may seem a little out of left field. However, both Garena and Phoenix Labs consider it a boon.
Garena was an original investor in Phoenix Labs. As such, this new endeavor allows the two to build upon a previously established partnership. While the Dauntless developer’s console and PC expertise is firm, the Singapore-based company will provide Phoenix Labs a foothold in the mobile space, specifically with regards to audiences in Southeast Asia. Phoenix Labs’ desire to host Dauntless on additional platforms across the globe, then, makes Garena the perfect choice of parent company.
Phoenix Labs’ CEO and Co-Founder Jesse Houston told GamesIndustry.biz,
[Garena’s] Free Fire has been a hit in regions where we are not yet strong, and where we have aspirations of being strong. Those regions represent a really interesting and unique publishing challenge beyond the language barriers, just with consumer expectations differences. Garena’s obviously huge in Southeast Asia, but they’re also right now the largest publisher in South America. They’ve got a huge presence in India, and the Middle East is next on deck for them. They’re basically going everywhere we have not gone, and being able to leverage that expertise is really interesting.
Expanding Phoenix Labs’ reach isn’t the only reason Houston and Co. partnered with Garena. The latter further understands the former’s wish to expand as a team. According to Houston, the studio’s growth has previously encountered limitations due to “budget and our capitalization.” With Garena, the Dauntless studio will be left alone to develop games, while another company “bankroll[s]” its expansion.
For now, the team’s focus is solely squared on making Dauntless the “best free-to-play MMO in the history of video games.” Phoenix Labs’ continued support of the title could very well make such ambitions come to fruition.